This course will give you an overview of the veterinary industry, the role played by Veterinary Support Assistants (VSAs), and the most common issues and challenges faced by those working in the profession. It will equip you with the knowledge you will need to communicate effectively with other members of the veterinary team and further your career in this sector.
Working as a VSA is a great way of making a real difference to the lives of sick and injured animals on a daily basis. However, the terminology and technical knowledge required to succeed as a VSA can seem intimidating to industry newcomers. This course presents key concepts in animal care in a straightforward manner, so that you can begin your career with confidence. You will also obtain a working knowledge of key legislation necessary to keep you and your patients safe.
From administering first aid to routine surgery, you will learn what happens in the consultation rooms and operating theatres in a typical veterinary practice. The course addresses patient care at every stage of treatment, from diagnosis to surgery and post-operation recovery. It focuses primarily on the treatment of common domestic species, but the needs of exotic animals and horses are also addressed.
In light of the increasing emphasis on customer service within the industry, the course also examines the typical customer’s experience as they seek out the best possible care for their pet. Owners can become highly stressed when their beloved pet is ill, and this course contains practical advice for communicating effectively with customers facing emotional strain both in person and on the telephone.
This course will provide anyone looking to work as a VSA with a realistic insight into the workings of a veterinary practice and future options for career progression. It will also be of interest to anyone who wishes to learn more about animal care or further their knowledge of the veterinary industry in general.
The key purposes and functions of a veterinary practice
A brief history of veterinary medicine
Why it is important to understand the role of each member of a veterinary team
An overview of the most common roles within a practice, including the necessary qualifications and main responsibilities
The entry requirements for entering into the veterinary profession as a veterinary support assistant (VSA)
Why it is beneficial to pursue a formal qualification
The most popular qualifications open to VSAs
The main areas covered by VSA qualifications
Why you need to be aware of health and safety laws and legislation from the outset of your career in the veterinary industry
The purposes of health and safety legislation
The nature and purpose of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966
The nature and purpose of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
Why a VSA should be familiar with the techniques used to monitor inpatients
The assessment process for newly admitted patients
How veterinary staff ensure that inpatients are given the opportunity to have their usual day to day needs met
The most commonly monitored measures of health, such as temperature and blood pressure
What is meant by animal welfare and why it is important to consider the practical and philosophical issues raised by the topic
The nature and purpose of the Five Freedoms model approach to animal welfare
The meaning of the term “stakeholders” in relation to animal health and welfare
The role of ethics in maintaining animal health and welfare
Why VSAs need to be familiar with common terminology and equipment
Common prefixes used by veterinary professionals
Common suffixes used by veterinary professionals
The equipment most commonly used in a consultation room
The purpose of anaesthesia and the ways in which it is administered
The most common surgical procedures carried out by veterinary surgeons
Diagnostic tests used in veterinary practice to identify health problems in patients
The day to day practices that comprise nursing care and how they are carried out
Why animal handling is a key skill for vets, RVNs and VSAs
Essential points to bear in mind when handling dogs
Essential points to bear in mind when handling cats
How to handle small mammals, including hamsters and rabbits
Why VSAs should be familiar with common emergencies arising in everyday veterinary practice
The purposes and nature of first aid and who is responsible for its administration
The importance of triage and initial assessment, in ensuring the best possible outcome for a patient
An overview of emergency procedures, including Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), blood transfusions and the Heimlich Manoeuvre
Why customer service is an important skill for everyone working in a veterinary practice
How the typical customer selects a veterinary practice
How understanding the customer’s journey can help you deliver great customer service
How to interact positively with customers on the telephone
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